If you have been around campus recently, you may have seen the influx of Campus Security Officers riding on their crime-stopping Segways. Purchased in 2011 for approximately $5000-6000, the only CSO Segway on campus has seen a revival in popularity. To many current students, however, the Segway seems new. Many students had not seen the Segway because its popularity fluctuates within Campus Security and individual CSOs. “The movie Mall Cop did not help us… it stigmatizes the person riding the Segway as that character” jokes Gary Granger, Director of Community Safety. He says the recent resurgence in usage of the Segway stems from a lazy day during the summer when CSO Aaron took the two-wheeled badboy out for a spin.
In an interview with the Quest, Granger explained the rationale behind the usage of the Segway on the Reed campus. In his previous job at the hilly campus of OHSU, Granger witnessed time trials between an officer on foot, riding a bike, in a car, and cruising on a Segway. He says that the Segway was the fastest way to get around the campus because “you could move rapidly in almost any environment, including indoors if you needed to. You can carry up to 10-20 pounds worth of equipment so [like] a first aid kit… and not get tired.” Granger says that the Segway is a “rational, practical, eco-friendly, quiet way for someone to get around campus.”
He also advocates for the community engagement aspects of the Segway. “We wanna [sic] stay connected to the community…you’re right there in front of people. You’re not hiding behind a car. You can talk to people.” He suggests that one of the very few downsides of the Segway is that there is “no exercise, but at least you’re standing.” Granger said that there are no plans on extending the Segway fleet.
When I asked some students about their feelings regarding the Segway, they expressed ambivalence about its usage on campus. One student said she has “zero feelings about them,” and another suggested the idea of multiple CSOs travelling together to create “a Segway tour.”